Local employers help in the fight against obesity - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local employers help in the fight against obesity

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Tennessee's obesity rate is one of the highest in the nation. In an effort to combat that, several local companies are helping their employees go the extra mile to be healthy and fit.

And that has changed one woman's life.

Myneika Malone works at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and she has battled obesity her entire life.

When Blue Cross moved their corporate headquarters to Cameron Hill, the company created a new facility and environment that allowed Myneika to take on her battle with weight head on.

"It keeps me on track," she said. "I even come down here during break sometimes and I can say I have a 30 minute break and they have something for me to do."

The company's employee incentive wellness program has helped her drop six-dress sizes in three years. All told, she has lost 126 pounds.

Malone has struggled with weight her entire life, and says being in a workplace that encourages her to reach her goal makes the process easier.

"We have [an] on-site pharmacy, a nutrition center that has food less than 600 calories and we have value price that is less expensive. We have a dietician on site, and a massage therapist," she notes.  

Malone says she appreciates the support group, especially the wellness center.  She started off just walking and then began doing classes on a regular basis, even taking time to work out with her trainer.

And Blue Cross is just one of many local companies that have added wellness centers or teamed up with local exercise facilities to help their employees lose weight and get into shape.

Blue Cross Blue Shield employees can also earn cash while walking with their Acti Ped pedometer or by logging activities. "Every quarter you can earn $200 on your pay check. It measures steps and activity,"  Malone said.

And some employees have friendly competition.  Malone says in every step she is able to get closer to her goal: earn cash, and encourage others through her weight loss journey.

"I feel better, I look better it a healthier me," she says proudly.

And her advice for others is simple. "Stick with it and stay consistent and don't be afraid to ask someone."

Myneika plans to lose 15 to 20 more pounds and reach her goal by good diet and exercise.

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